Dog Yoga aka Doga: why you should do yoga with your dog
Doga is doing yoga with your dog and it's the next big thing! Ever tried it? To get yourself familiar with the topic, we have interviewed expert Mahny Djahanguiri. Get your yoga mat ready and allow yourself to reach nirvana...with your dog!
Doga is doing yoga with your dog and it’s the next big thing! Ever tried it? To get yourself familiar with the topic, we have interviewed expert Mahny Djahanguiri. Get your yoga mat ready and allow yourself to reach nirvana… with your dog!
Dog Yoga (Doga): what is it exactly?
Contrary to what most people think, doga does not necessarily mean involving your dog in your yoga poses- says European doga expert, Mahny Djahanaguiri. Dog yoga or doga means doing yoga poses with your dog by your side.
Reasons why you should do yoga with your dog
It’s basically the same reasons why people do yoga. Doga, is how you and your dog escape from stress and anxiety, an unfortunately common feeling for dogs as well.
It’s enjoyable, fun and beneficial to both humans and dogs. Dogs feed off of our calm, so if you are calm your dog is consequently calm too. During doga sessions, the dog’s role is not to protect the owner, but to rest. In a way, your dog is taking a day off from what he feels naturally born for! Breathing slows down while oxytocin and other important mood and happiness hormones are released in the brain.
Thanks to the release of the adrenal glands, dogs are able to sense the owner’s calm by smelling it.
Can it be harmful to my dog?
As dogs are not involved in yoga poses- at least not necessarily- doing yoga with your dog is not harmful. Some sessions can involve dog massages mixed with human yoga breathing. During doga, dogs usually react with lots of doggie kisses and licks.
If you want to involve your dog in yoga poses that involve lifting, your dog should weigh less than 8 kilos! – Mahny Djahanaguiri
If your dog feels comfortable and he is willing to be lifted into a yoga pose, why not? Let this happen. But the conditions have to be right! According to Mahny, you should not involve your dog in stretching exercises. Make sure you have consulted a vet before thinking about involving your dog in some “doga” exercises.
Dog yoga helps you stay healthy
Because it’s good for you and your dog. Particularly, doing yoga with your dog is recommended for owners who have just adopted a rescue dog, or for puppies. In gog yoga or doga, treats are not used and the focus is on the bond between dog and dog parent.
5 additional reasons why dog yoga is good for you
- Decreases dog’s anxiety
- Decreases depression
- Helps against sleep and digestion issues
- Releases tension
- Helps against stress-related problems
Do I need to take classes?
Classes should be regular. At least once a week you and your dog should meet with the same instructor and same group. Doing yoga with your dog at home may be difficult as you could risk being too distracted, especially at the beginning. Personal practice at home with your dog can be achieved, after attending several sessions with a teacher.
Readapted from an interview with European expert Mahny Djahanguiri
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